SEAMASTER 2019 ITTF WORLD TOUR SHINAN KOREA OPEN
Sunday 7th July
Titles for Xu Xin and Chen Meng
China’s Xu Xin and Chen Meng won the respective men’s singles and women’s singles titles at the Seamaster 2019 ITTF World Tour Shinan Korea Open in Busan on Sunday 7th July.
Notably both beat reigning Olympic champions to reserve the top step of the podium.
Following a semi-final success in opposition to compatriot and qualifier Wang Chuqin (8-11, 20-18, 11-7, 11-7, 5-11, 11-5), Xu Xin, the no.2 seed, accounted for Ma Long, the no.4 seed (7-11, 11-6, 11-9, 11-7, 11-8) to claim the top prize. In the counterpart semi-final, Ma Long had ousted the host nation’s Jeoung Youngsik, the no.13 seed (11-7, 5-11, 11-7, 11-6, 11-9) and winner in 2015 when the tournament was staged in Incheon.
Thus Xu Xin extended his status as the most successful player in the history of the tournament since first staged in 2001 in Seoul, when the host nation’s Kim Taeksoo emerged the champion. He has now won four times; no other player has won more than once. Always in Incheon, previously he won in 2013, 2014 and 2016; as today in 2013 and 2016 he beat Ma Long in the final.
Moreover, it was a second consecutive success for Xu Xin; having won last month in Japan, overall has won 16 ITTF World Tour men’s singles titles in 27 final appearances.
Meanwhile, in the women’s singles event, after accounting for Wang Manyu, the no.7 seed (11-3, 8-11, 11-3, 12-14, 10-12, 11-9, 11-6), Chen Meng, the no.2 seed, overcame Ding Ning, the top seed (11-5, 11-6, 11-5, 7-11, 11-9) to secure the title. In the adjacent semi-final, Ding Ning ended the progress of Sun Yingsha, the no.16 seed (8-11, 11-5, 8-11, 9-11, 11-8, 11-6, 11-8).
Success and it was one step higher for Chen Meng, her first such success in Korea Republic; last year in the final she had been beaten by colleague Zhu Yuling.
Furthermore, it was for Chen Meng her third ITTF World Tour women’s singles title of the year; previously she had won in Hungary and China. Overall it was her 12th such title in 15 final appearances.
Proceedings concluded in Busan, attention now turns to Geelong; the Seamaster 2019 ITTF World Tour Platinum Australian Open commences on Thursday 11th July being preceded by qualification which begins on Tuesday 9th July.
By Ian Marshall, Editor
Photo Credit: ITTF